Reviews written by registered user
AMcElvain

10 reviews in total 
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United 93 (2006)
1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Brilliant, gripping, inspiring, heartbreaking. Do NOT miss this!, 29 April 2006
10/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This film was presented as a real-time story of the events of 9/11/2001, and it was one of the most brilliant films I have ever seen. No big stars, but definitely some familiar faces. Stars might have distracted from this particular story. The terrorists were presented as realistic young men on a mission, driven by their beliefs, trying desperately to keep their courage up. The passengers were realistic people, normal people in an extraordinary situation. This was a very honest view of all the surprised and confused people who were in control, their struggles to communicate, their difficulty getting control over a completely surprising situation. Most notable was the score. Without realizing it, I was on the edge of my seat through the entire picture, even in the very beginning when the mundane activities of loading a plan with passengers, taking off, etc. were recounted in detail. I knew what was about to happen to these people, but it was the score that kept me whipped into a frenzy of dread. I especially admired that no one was made a madman; no one a buffoon; no one a superhero. People were praying, both the hijackers and the passengers alike. People were making phone calls. I felt like I was one of those passengers. What would my message have been to the people at home? Please muster the courage to see this film. It will change you forever.

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Brilliant, engaging, dramatic snapshot of Edward R. Murrow in late 50's, 9 November 2005
10/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I wasn't aware of the role Edward R. Murrow had played in the evolution of radio and television news and editorial work, and the powerful impact his courageous work had on balancing the nation's sanity in the McCarthy era. Chillingly, I also see that the more things change, the more they stay the same. The political and economic forces that compete to drive the programming on the TV broadcasts are still at it, and even more powerful than they were back then. The politics of fear and repression (if you're agin me, you must be a traitor) are still being used today to silence and intimidate those who are not in power. And yet, what a hopeful light is shone: a small group of broadcasters put their careers on the line and stood up in favor of the constitutional guarantees of free speech and due process of law. We CAN do this today, and because of the courageous work of Murrow, Friendly and their team in the 50's, we can speak out with little fear of recrimination. I love that we have the right to live passionately in this country. With all our troubles, we still have the freedom to debate and discuss. Thank God for Edward R. Murrow and his team. I would recommend this film as required viewing for all aspiring journalists, broadcasters, law students and political scientists. Gorgeous David Strathairn did an amazing job, as usual. I have admired him for years for his work in films as varied as Dolores Claiborne, The Firm, Memphis Belle and A League of Their Own. He adopted the body language and speaking style of Murrow most convincingly. George Clooney directed this masterpiece, as well as portraying Fred Friendly as an amiable and effective producer. One of the most brilliant aspects of the structure of this picture was the interplay of jazz standards performed by the brilliant Dianne Reeves, who brought me to tears on more than one occasion. Presented in their time period, the lyrics suddenly took on an entirely new meaning to me. Snippets of social commentary sung to the sounds of clinking whiskey glasses, through plumes of ubiquitous cigarette smoke. I do appreciate our "No Smoking" workplaces of today, I can tell you that! GREAT job. Everyone must see this film right now.

5 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
Hilarious, Creative, Engaging. Very entertaining!, 7 October 2005
10/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Adam Rudder and his crew have produced a hilarious romp that touches the hearts of anyone who has ever felt they had no chance at that hottie in the bar. Now, you can imagine how it's done, with the heroic actions of one man, and the antics of the very hot people in the Thin bar in San Diego. The editing was especially effective: the combination of live action and cutaways to character comments, flash backs and flash forwards all work together to show the ripple effect the main character's heroic exploits has on the tres chic bar fly community. A few standout roles had the entire audience laughing so hard they were crying, including the rubber ducky guy, the "best friend" who regrets not being there for her love-starved friend, and another bar patron who delivers her lines in flagrante delicto. (No actual nudity...the theme was suggestive but I believe it was suitable for PG-13 audiences). The sound quality was excellent. The color, lighting and scene dressing were very well done. The overall impression was that this short film was very professionally produced, edited and directed. At the San Diego Film Festival, it stood out from the other films because it was the only one that had a cohesive and comprehensible story, it was produced beautifully, the acting was believable and effective, and the audience enjoyed the humor and originality in the piece. I highly recommend this film, and will seek out anything Adam Rudder and his crew do in the future.

Kiss My Act (2001) (TV)
8 out of 11 people found the following review useful:
Funny, touching, believable, addicting!, 5 May 2001

I waited six months for this movie, and I was completely thrilled with it! This film was structured to showcase Camryn Manheim's considerable talent, along with her warmth and intelligence, and a few unique quirks thrown in just to make life more interesting.

Scott Cohen was the perfect "Roxanne" for Camryn's "Cyrano" in this modern, feminine twist on the classic Cyrano de Bergerac story set in a comedy club. Cohen was strong, intelligent, funny, sensitive and vulnerable, the perfect man for any woman. His smile and laughter were engaging and infectious. Scott Cohen fans in particular will appreciate his big entrance, which was quite dramatic and breathtaking. "Now the rest of the world will sense how we feel when he enters the room," one woman gushed in a mailing list after this show aired.

The situations in which these characters find themselves are very believable, and the pain Samantha Berger (Manheim) experiences in her daily life accurately represents what goes on in the real world for larger-than-average women. Scott Cohen has a way of looking at his leading lady that makes the rest of us melt in our chairs and wish we were in her place. The chemistry between these two is electric.

I sincerely hope ABC will release this film on VHS or DVD for those of us who would love to play it again and again.

22 out of 31 people found the following review useful:
Brilliant Acting, Sharp Writing, Funny and Touching, 22 April 2001
10/10

This film had something for everyone: a loving view into a Jewish family, including religious practices we rarely get to see on screen; a relationship between two women who are trying to find the right someone who "gets" them; and having the courage to go after the things you want the most. Scott Cohen is gorgeous and appealing as Josh Meyer, Jessica Stein's boss, ex-boyfriend and friend of her brother. He convincingly moves from bitter and judgmental through his own emotional journey when he sees Jessica summon the courage to be happy and seek her dreams. He sings beautifully in Hebrew, too!

Tovah Feldshuh was brilliant and touching as the Jewish mother with a true understanding of her daughter. No caricature here: she has one of the most touching scenes in the entire film. Jackie Hoffman was fun and funny as Jessica's best friend and coworker Joan, who lives vicariously through Jessica and Helen's adventures.

Jennifer Westfeldt (Jessica Stein) and Heather Juergensen (Helen Cooper) wrote, produced and starred in this wonderful, touching, funny view of single life in New York today. In fact, New York itself was a character in this film, providing both opportunities and barriers to the relationships among the characters. I highly recommend it!

39 out of 60 people found the following review useful:
Outstanding Drama, Writing and Cast, 18 December 2000

I have no idea what's going on with Friends this year. I started watching Gilmore Girls because I knew Scott Cohen was going to guest-star. I stayed with Gilmore Girls because the acting is really good (I love the actors who play Lorelai, Rory, Sookie and Luke), the writing and pace are excellent, and the theme is so similar to situations I have faced in my own life. The best thing about the show has been the budding romance between Lorelai Gilmore (played by Lauren Graham) and Max Medina (played by Scott Cohen). These two actors have magical chemistry. On top of that, the "Love, War and Snow" episode of 12/14/00 used the theme of magical snowfall in Lorelai's life to underscore the romance. Brilliant, high quality writing. I want MORE!

The Wharf Rat (1995) (TV)
2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Scott Cohen, Lou Diamond Phillips and Rachel Ticotin: Great!, 9 September 2000
10/10

Why have I never heard of this movie before? It was really good! Scott Cohen's performance as a relatively novice police officer who was competitive with and conflicted by his shady businessman brother (Lou Diamond Phillips)was really superb. And Scott looked great with long hair. Rachel Ticotin was perhaps underused here in her role as a journalist. Her character didn't have the breadth and complexity that Rachel is able to play. Rita Moreno was almost invisible as the mother, but she played it super well in the few scenes she did have. Judge Reinhold's performance was a little too overtly psycho than I thought was necessary for his bad cop role: but, at least it was believable he would do the things he did in this film. There were some good laughs, and one shockingly irreverent scene, too. It's most definitely worth a look.

Vibrations (1996) (V)
3 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
Scott Cohen Stands Out in this film., 9 September 2000
10/10

Scott Cohen plays the exuberant and goofy Simeon with great energy and abandon. His character was totally believable as a creative and funky rave musician. He had all the best lines, and he was the only one who actually looked like he was playing his instrument because his fingers were at least in the correct zone of the keyboard for the music that was playing. But only one brilliant performance (and a lot of funky hats) can't carry the whole film. Christina Applegate was less than her spunky self here. And the guy in the lead role blew an awesome opportunity to show us his range of going from successful to drunken bum in the street and beyond. He was almost not even there, and that's too bad. (See, I can't even remember his name!) But overall, the story was an uplifting one, and carried with it a good anti-drug message. Perhaps a younger person than me should review this: I was done with rave-type parties about 17 years ago...

Net Worth (2001)
2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Excellent exploration of mid-30's men and enduring friendship., 2 September 2000
8/10

Net Worth is a very compelling story about 4 men in their mid-30's who make a bet to see who will have the greatest net worth after one month. The catch: they must all start over in a new city with no background, just $100 and the clothes on their backs. It's a marvelous exploration of how the men come to evaluate themselves and their relationships through this process of surviving as fish out of water. Most importantly, it never becomes sappy. These seem like real guys with some of the same issues as friends of mine, and the story feels kind of like "City Slickers" with an edge. Michael T. Weiss is riveting as Michael Winslow, a charming ladies' man. Daniel Baldwin is perfect as the smarmy stockbroker Robert Freedman. Highly recommended, and it will be appreciated by men and women alike.

Gia (1998) (TV)
1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Super acting all around. Angelina Jolie and Scott Cohen superb., 14 August 2000
10/10

This was the first time I ever noticed Angelina Jolie, and I was very impressed by her range, portraying Gia with strength, anger and vulnerability. A gorgeous model with faults that made her a tragic human. Brilliant performance. Scott Cohen was seductive, handsome and superbly convincing as ruthless agent Mike Mansfield. Mercedes Ruehl was amazing as Gia's mother. All around a major treat, and a major tear jerker.